I have a material that took some time to create. I want to duplicate the material, but then unlink it from the original material.

Note: This is NOT a question about unlinking a material from an object, but rather from its original settings.


  1. I have a material that is set up as an emission surface and I want to animate its strength over time.
  2. I assign this material to Object 1.
  3. I duplicate the material with the + icon and get a new material based on the first, and it has .001 appended to the original name.
  4. I assign this second material to Object 2.
  5. I want to change the emission strength of the new material-Object 2 and animate it over time as well, just with different settings on different key frames.

However, when I change the strength of either emission setting for either material, it also sets the same emission strength for other material to be the same.

Obviously there is some linking going on in the background, but I cannot find the keystroke or menu options to unlink the two materials from each other. I do see lots of questions answered about how to unlink duplicate objects, but following those instructions does not get the results I need with the materials.


This can be done via NLA editor: simply Push down an Action on duplicated material and delete created NLA Track. Original will remain untouched.

P.S. I'll post some images later if needed.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello Serge, did you manage to use the NLA for a material action? It looks like material actions don't work like any other actions, it should be a request $\endgroup$ – moonboots Apr 16 at 6:59

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